The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Polish Chemists of all time. This list of famous Polish Chemists is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Polish Chemists.
With an HPI of 75.01, Fritz Haber is the most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 80 different languages on wikipedia.
Fritz Haber (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁɪt͡s ˈhaːbɐ] (listen); 9 December 1868 – 29 January 1934) was a German chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his invention of the Haber–Bosch process, a method used in industry to synthesize ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas. This invention is important for the large-scale synthesis of fertilisers and explosives. It is estimated that one-third of annual global food production uses ammonia from the Haber–Bosch process, and that this supports nearly half of the world's population. Haber, along with Max Born, proposed the Born–Haber cycle as a method for evaluating the lattice energy of an ionic solid. Haber, a known German nationalist, is also considered the "father of chemical warfare" for his years of pioneering work developing and weaponising chlorine and other poisonous gases during World War I. He first proposed the use of the heavier-than-air chlorine gas as a weapon to break the trench deadlock during the Second Battle of Ypres. His work was later used to develop Zyklon B, used for the murder of more than 1 million Jews in gas chambers in the greater context of the Holocaust. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, Haber was forced to resign from his positions because he was Jewish. Already in poor health, he spent time in various countries, before Chaim Weizmann invited him to become the director of the Sieff Research Institute (now the Weizmann Institute) in Rehovot, Palestine. He accepted the offer, but died of heart failure mid-journey in a Basel hotel on 29 January 1934, aged 65. Haber has been called one of the most important scientists, if not the most important, in human history and possibly the greatest industrial chemist who ever lived.
With an HPI of 68.16, Walther Nernst is the 2nd most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 70 different languages.
Walther Hermann Nernst (German pronunciation: [ˈvaltɐ ˈnɛʁnst] (listen); 25 June 1864 – 18 November 1941) was a German chemist known for his work in thermodynamics, physical chemistry, electrochemistry, and solid state physics. His formulation of the Nernst heat theorem helped pave the way for the third law of thermodynamics, for which he won the 1920 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is also known for developing the Nernst equation in 1887.
With an HPI of 66.55, Kurt Alder is the 3rd most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 66 different languages.
Kurt Alder (German pronunciation: [ˈkʊʁt ˈaldɐ] (listen); 10 July 1902 – 20 June 1958) was a German chemist and Nobel laureate.
With an HPI of 66.30, Friedrich Bergius is the 4th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 58 different languages.
Friedrich Karl Rudolf Bergius (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈbɛʁɡi̯ʊs] (listen), 11 October 1884 – 30 March 1949) was a German chemist known for the Bergius process for producing synthetic fuel from coal, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1931, together with Carl Bosch) in recognition of contributions to the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods. Having worked with IG Farben during World War II, his citizenship came into question following the war, causing him to ultimately flee to Argentina, where he acted as adviser to the Ministry of Industry.Bergius was born near Breslau (Wrocław), within the German Empire's Prussian Province of Silesia.
With an HPI of 66.15, Tadeusz Reichstein is the 5th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 61 different languages.
Tadeusz Reichstein (20 July 1897 – 1 August 1996) was a Polish-Swiss chemist and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (1950), which was awarded for his work on the isolation of cortisone.
With an HPI of 65.04, Konrad Emil Bloch is the 6th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.
Konrad Emil Bloch (German pronunciation: [ˈkɔnʁaːt ˈblɔx] (listen); 21 January 1912 – 15 October 2000) was a German-American biochemist. Bloch received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1964 (joint with Feodor Lynen) for discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.
With an HPI of 64.56, Clara Immerwahr is the 7th most famous Polish Chemist. Her biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Clara Helene Immerwahr (German pronunciation: [ˈklaːʁa heˈleːnə ˈʔɪmɐvaːɐ̯]; 21 June 1870 – 2 May 1915) was a German chemist. She was the first German woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany, and is credited with being a pacifist as well as a "heroine of the women's rights movement". From 1901 until her suicide in 1915, she was married to the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Fritz Haber.
With an HPI of 63.79, Antoni Grabowski is the 8th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
Antoni Grabowski (11 June 1857 – 4 July 1921) was a Polish chemical engineer, and an activist of the early Esperanto movement. His translations had an influential impact on the development of Esperanto into a language of literature.
With an HPI of 63.51, Casimir Funk is the 9th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.
Kazimierz Funk (Polish: [kaˈʑimjɛʂ ˈfuŋk]; February 23, 1884 – November 19, 1967), commonly anglicized as Casimir Funk, was a Polish-American biochemist generally credited with being among the first to formulate (in 1912) the concept of vitamins, which he called "vital amines" or "vitamines".
With an HPI of 62.21, Johann Wilhelm Ritter is the 10th most famous Polish Chemist. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Johann Wilhelm Ritter (16 December 1776 – 23 January 1810) was a German chemist, physicist and philosopher. He was born in Samitz (Zamienice) near Haynau (Chojnów) in Silesia (then part of Prussia, since 1945 in Poland), and died in Munich.
Pantheon has 26 people classified as chemists born between 1566 and 1950. Of these 26, 1 (3.85%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living chemists include Krzysztof Matyjaszewski. The most famous deceased chemists include Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, and Kurt Alder. As of April 2022, 3 new chemists have been added to Pantheon including Nikodem Caro, Johannes Thiele, and Hugo Erdmann.
1868 - 1934
1864 - 1941
1902 - 1958
1884 - 1949
1897 - 1996
1912 - 2000
1870 - 1915
1857 - 1921
1884 - 1967
1776 - 1810
1867 - 1946
1822 - 1882
Which Chemists were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 24 most globally memorable Chemists since 1700.